Social Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Our studies investigate how genes related to hormones and neurotransmitters are associated with behaviors and risk of psychiatric disorders. They focus on the genetics and neurobiology of autism, combining human genetics studies with experimental studies in animals. The group has shown associations between oxytocin genes and social behaviors relevant for individuals with autism e.g. emotion recognition, social memory, pair-bonding behavior and aggression. In experimental studies using mice and zebrafish, they have revealed that oxytocin is relevant for behaviors seen in autism subjects. In our on-going research, we further develop methodologies for pharmacological and behavioral studies esp. high-throughput-drug-screens in transgenic and mutant zebrafish.